Harare: The ruling party of Zimbabwe is reportedly looking to spend some $2.5 million on President Robert Mugabe's 93rd birthday celebration on February 21, a media report said on Wednesday.
"Each of the ten provinces is expected to raise $2.5 million towards.
"They expect to raise it through provincial structures, individuals, private companies, parastatals and local authorities," Zanu PF party officials said.
However, opposition parties have attacked Mugabe for wasting money on extravagant revelry while "93 per cent of Zimbabweans are wallowing in poverty caused by his incompetence and misrule", NewZimbabwe.com reported.
Opposition parties said they are not surprised about the huge budget because Mugabe always "had a penchant for profligacy and wastefulness".
Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai (MDC-T) national spokesperson Obert Gutu said Mugabe and the Zanu-Patriotic Front (PF) regime "have a satanic appetite for seeing the majority of Zimbabweans live in abject poverty and penury".
"Just imagine what the sum of $2.5 million can do in buying scarce drugs and other medicines for our public hospitals.
"That amount of money should be diverted to the Department of Social Welfare where it can be used to buy food and other essentials that are badly needed by the poor and marginalised people in our country.
"Zimbabwe needs better leadership than what we are seeing from these people," Gutu added.
MDC-T party spokesman Kurauone Chihwayi said: "A normal leader cannot be so reckless and extravagant to the extent of raiding state enterprises to celebrate his own birthday while millions are starving".
"Our fellow citizens should boycott Mugabe birthday celebrations in protest of the man-made crisis and excessive looting of state resources by the Zanu PF administration."